Here is the Steeple--But Whose Steeple?


Church property disputes are painful and usually contentious. Usually, though not

always, they begin when a congregation wants to leave the denomination, often over

doctrinal fidelity. Because it is a dispute over church property, deep constitutional issues

apply that may trump regular property law. A recent case, Windwood Presbyterian Church, Inc. v. Presbyterian Church U.S.A., issued August 30, 2012 from the Texas Court of Appeals, lays out the church law principles that govern these cases (such as neutral principles and hierarchical deference) in a way that is easy to understand.

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